Saturday, July 31, 2010

TAFA List and the Awesome Page they Published for Me!!!!

I just became a member of TAFA (The Textile and Fiber Art List) and they made me the most comprehensive listing on their website. I am so impressed with the detail and sheer volume of information that goes into the members pages on this site. Here is a link to my page, I hope you will check it out and leave a comment for me!!! Click this link to see my page. My Silk Painting Page on TAFA

I have been sick the last 2 days and was up with tremors all night last night. That has not happened in a long time and I am wondering if it is a relapse from the Lyme induced autoimmune disease??? So anyway I did not get much more done on my silk painting and I am not sure if I will be able to work on it today. Feel a bit like I was run over by a truck!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Creating a Color Sketch with Dyes on Paper for my Silk Painting

Today I mixed up some dyes and painted a small color sketch to plan out the colors I will be using on my current silk painting. The photo above shows my original large sketch and the smaller color sketch that I created today. I had planned to do a couple of versions but I was so happy with the first one that I am going to use it as my guide. This sketch was created with dyes on cheap copy paper, the dyes on silk will actually respond very differently, but it gives me a guide to go by when choosing and mixing my dyes.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Working on Fall and Winter Sketches for Silk Paintings

I have put away the scarf racks and silk screens and today I started working on sketches for my next silk painting. Hard to believe that I need to hurry to get some fall and winter paintings done because it is so darn hot! But it is nearly August and I need to get some new work ready for the upcoming Fall and Winter seasons.
Don came home early and snapped some photos of me working on it in my studio. I need to wear the therapeutic glove when I work because the autoimmune disease has wreaked havoc with my hands.
 Well, there it is, the sketch is finished, now I just need to trace it onto the silk and apply the resist and dyes. I always feel a little overwhelmed and under confident at this point. Time will tell!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Christmas in July & August Sale on Etsy!

Huge Christmas in July Sale on Etsy!!!! Limited edition prints of my silk paintings are $25.00 (reg. $35.00). All silk scarves are listed at reduced prices. There are also Art Magnets as low as $3.99 and Mini-Prints for $12.95. Christmas is 5 months away so stock up and save!!!!! If you see a print on my Crow House Studio website ( ) that you love, email me and I will list it on Etsy at the sale price for you!

Vist my Etsy shop and take advantage of the Christmas in July & August Sale at this link:

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Creating Color Mockups in Photoshop CS4

I have been fooling around with color choices in Photoshop and for the most part I have been inporting a scanned color sketch and using the Hue/Saturation, Color Balance, Chanel Mixer, and Selective Color tools but my friend Angel from Muse Silk Painting was doing some really cool things with color mock ups in Illustrator and she gave me the idea that there was a simpler way to change color in Photoshop. I started poking around in PS today I discovered the "Replace Color" Tool and it is a blast to use! Here are some simple directions on how to use it that I found on Bair Art Edition's website.

Bair Art Edition's Tutorial on:
Adjusting Color & Exposure
In Adobe Photoshop

Color Adjustment: Replace Color

If the Hue/Saturation tool isn't giving you the fine-tuned color adjustment that you desire, then you may consider using the Replace Color adjustment. This tool is not as preferred as the Hue/Saturation tool because it can't be made into an adjustment layer. If at all possible, first try using the Hue/Saturation tool and use the hue guides to fine tune what you are adjusting. If that doesn't work, do this:

Make a copy of the background layer, you will be permanently changing the file information, and don't want to do it to the background. This is done in the layers palette by dragging the background into the new layer icon. Or in the layer menu: Layer/ Duplicate Layer... Name the new layer, for example, Replace Green.

Click this link to read the rest of this article on the authors website:

Monday, July 12, 2010

Playing with Color for a Scarf Design in Photoshop

These are color tests for a scarf I am painting. I got the idea to put them together from Angel at Muse Silk Painting (check her out on FB). She has a much more professional way of doing it using Illustrator, I was just horsing around in Photoshop with a mocked up colored pencil drawing so mine are really sloppy compaired to hers, but it does look kind of cool. Thanks Angel for the inspiration!!!!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Woking on Some Resisted Silk Scarves

The studio is getting pretty crowded! I got a custom order for a resisted design scarf so I put away all of my screen printing supplies and got out my stretchers. The ones on the left have the drawings laid out which is hard to see in the photos. The ones with the black lines have already had the resist applied and are awaiting their first steaming after which the dyes will be applied.

If you blow up the photo below you can see that I missed one of the ravens on the bottom branch, had to go back and outline it with the rewsist after I took the photo :-)

And below are some more photos added later on after even more scarves were resisted.

The scarf above has some gold accents created with metallic resist.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Hand Screen Printed Silk Scarves

Here are some of the hand printed scarves that I made with the stencils I created shown in an earlier blog post. You can click on the pictures to enlarge them. My silk scarves are available online at Etsy via this link:

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Three Silk Painitngs Published in Vermont Main Streets Magazine

Three of my paintings on silk were chosen to be in the Summer issue of Vermont Main Streets & Back Roads Magazines. “Maple Leaf Music” is on the cover and two of my other paintings are inside with a short biography.

To see other publications my work has been published in visit my Facebook Studio page at this link:!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Silk Painting Stolen!

Please help me find the silk painting pictured above. It was stolen while being displayed in downtown Brattleboro, Vermont during the months of April and May. Please contact me if you have any info or if you have seen this painting. There is a link to my email address on my website at

Resistad New Zealand’s Gift to Silk Painters

Below is an article I wrote a few years ago that was published on the Silk Painters International website. I am re-posting it here because I get so many questions on what kind of  resist I use.

Why do we love thee (Resistad) let me count the ways. (Sorry I couldn’t resist, oops, did it again!). Resistad is very wax-like in its resisting properties. Once properly heat set or steamed it can be painted over with dye as long as you use a cotton ball to wipe off the beads of dye that form on the resisted areas. If you leave the beads of dye on the resist they will work their way through (can be a cool effect if wanted).

I color my Resistad with Dupont dyes, and then I apply it to the silk using an Air Pen applicator with a small compressor. I also use it by coloring it with dye and painting it directly on the silk as a thickened dye, or by using a Pro-liner with a metal nib.

There are 2 ways to set the Resistad before you apply the dyes. Heat setting with a very hot iron or by  steaming. Since I use black Dupont dye to color most of my lines I double my paintings to keep the black dye from bleeding into lighter colors because Dupont black is very erosive to the Resistad. Other dyes may not have the same effect so experiment.

After I have applied the Resistad to 4 or 5 paintings I place them in the steamer (horizontal Dharma steamer) and steam for 1½ hours. This sets the black dye and activates the Resistad in one easy step. No curing over night then standing over each of the five paintings pointing a dryer at each line or ironing hoping that each line was heated enough.

Having said all of that, many Resistad users have had very good luck simply heat setting the Resistad using the overnight curing and hair dryers and irons to heat set it. I on the other hand have no luck with this method and have found that my colored Resistad failed in areas and was blurry in others, Part of this is because I use Dupont dyes which as I stated earlier are erosive to the thin Resistad lines. I also use very thin lines on my paintings, thicker resist lines or shapes have more holding power and may just need to be ironed. When the Resistad is steam set it becomes very wax-like and I have come to count on that superb holding power so that I can actually paint over lines and shapes without the dye bleeding through.

After I have steamed my resisted silk I re-stretch all of them on my stretchers and I paint in the Dupont Dyes on all five paintings. After that I roll them all up and steam them together for 2 hours to set the dyes.

When properly set Resistad holds a line like gutta or wax without the fumes or need for dry-cleaning. It has a very small amount of solvent in it so there is a slight odor but nothing like solvent based gutta. It is totally water rinse-able and when used for line work does not interfere with the hand of the silk.

If it is painted on covering large areas it does slightly alter the silks hand. It can be used to do block printing, direct painting, very fine line work (holds a size three line like a dream no breaks ever and that is a very thin line). When diluted to a very weak strength it can be used as an antidiffusant, it can be sponged on the silk to create leaves on trees or textures, and John, the creator of Resistad has some really cool ideas for mono-printing and using dried colored Resistad on a glass surface and then picking it up with wet silk. Ask him about his project sheets.

Resistad is the best water-based resist in the world a few years ago I did a cost break down on it to show the YSPG readers that it was not as cost prohibitive as some of them thought. Please note that this cost analysis was done in 2006-2007 and postage and materials costs may have risen slightly since then.

First you want to buy the Medium Resistad, and then you dilute it half and half with water for clear or dye for colored resist. I use a little more water/dye for thinner end product and ease of squeezing. It should pour like honey after it has been mixed and allowed to rest for ½ an hour (it thickens as it sits).

So right there you have cut the initial cost in half. Look at the breakdown below, as you can see Resistad colored with Dupont dyes that have

been properly mixed with Dupont Dilutant is only $1.86 per ounce, including the dreaded shipping and handling from New Zealand that everyone fears so much.

A pro-liner holds about 1.65 ounces of resist and that is a lot of line work for about $3.00.

Prices below are based on calculations from 2005-2006 Prices have increased since then

Dupont Dyes Undiluted
250 ml = $15.67 including S/H = $1.75 oz
1000ml = $43.76 including S/H = $1.36 oz
Per ounce undiluted = $1.75
Per ounce diluted = $0.88

Dupont Dilutant
1000ml = $36.11 including S/H
After adding water = $0.1 per oz

2kg (4.4lbs or 71oz) = $1.95 per oz incl. S/H
Resistad, Dye & Dilutant = $1.86 per ounce